“While I have you on the line, I have some good news,” I say.
“Oh?” Scarlet says, her attention clearly piqued.
“I’ve found a contractor skilled enough and willing to do your spherical pool,” I say.
“Shut up!” Scarlet says, but her tone tells me she doesn’t mean it literally. She is happy again. “For real?”
“For real,” I say. “If you have your PA call through to mine, we can set up another meeting and then once you sign off on the design, we’re good to go.”
“That sounds good, thank you Summer,” Scarlet says. “And please forgive me if I was a little brusque earlier. I realize mistakes happen. Take care.”
With that she hangs up and I smile to myself. I’m vindicated and if anything, this will make our working relationship stronger because I’ve managed to deliver something Scarlet believed to be impossible. Her hanging up without a goodbye used to worry me, make me think I had upset her somehow, but I soon realized that was just her way and now it doesn’t bother me at all. As little quirks go, I wish all of my clients had such easy to deal with ones.
I quickly email Jack explaining that the situation with Ms. Bond is sorted and she understands that mistakes happen, and she has accepted my apology and we are going to reschedule the meeting. His reply pings back in quickly. It’s a simple three words – good, I’m glad – but they say more than just their face value. They tell me that Jack is cool with me now too.
With everything right in the world of work once more, I go back to my emails. Once I have dealt with those, I get to thinking again. Yes, I made a mistake. Well, two mistakes. Yes, I allowed myself to lose my focus for a moment. But is that really a good enough reason to give Tyler up? Is it at least possible that I could keep seeing him and not be distracted like this?
I don’t get a chance to decide the answer to that question for myself because my father’s voice in my head decides it for me; don’t throw away everything you have worked for in exchange for a brief fling that might not even go anywhere.
I know that voice is probably right. I could give it a chance I think, if Tyler and I didn’t work at the same company but being so ditzy and distracted because of him when he works here too is just too embarrassing. And people would surely put the pieces together at some point and everyone would know that deep down I’m as mushy and romantic as those women I have laughed at over the years for giving up their careers for relationships.
Iwas a little bit nervous asking Summer if she wanted to get lunch with me, although I never would have shown it. I know she’s into me – anyone with eyes could see it – but she did say she wasn’t looking for anything more than a one-night thing before. But then again, I wasn’t looking for anything. I’m not looking for anything. But then I think of Summer and how could I not be looking for her? Or at the very least, how can I not be pleased that I have accidentally found her?
I suppose deep down, I always knew this moment would come. That I could say I wasn’t looking for anything and mean it, but that a special someone would still come along and make me not care if I was looking or not.
Realistically, I know that Summer isn’t my ex. She is absolutely nothing like her. Just because Chloe turned out to be a fraud and cheated on me, it doesn’t mean Summer will do the same. It doesn’t mean that anyone I get with will hurt me. But until Summer landed in my life, I had never met anyone who I liked enough to risk it for. Now I have Summer in my life, I guess it’s fair to say that for once, I’m not looking to the past, but to the future, and I very much want that girl in my future.
So yes. What I’m trying to say is that I am pretty happy about the prospect of a little lunch date with Summer. It doesn’t matter how much I try to remind myself to be cautious, or how much I claim to myself that I’m still not ready for a relationship, I can still feel myself falling for Summer.
My office door opens and for a moment, I think it’s going to be her, that she’s here to fuck me into oblivion. I can’t think who else would come into my office without knocking. My heart sinks when I see Jack. He’s my partner, of course he comes into my office without knocking when he knows I’m not with a client. He smiles at me and comes and sits down opposite me without waiting for an invite. I feel a bit annoyed about it and I tell myself to let it go. I’m only annoyed because I thought Jack was going to be Summer and he isn’t.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“Hopefully nothing,” Jack says. “You’ve been working closely with Summer Malone these last few weeks, right?”
I make a noncommittal grunt. Where the hell is this going? Has Jack somehow found out about us sleeping together? I don’t see how he could have, and even if he has, there’s no rule to say we can’t be in a relationship together.
“How does she seem to you?” Jack asks. “I mean is she ok?”
“As far as I know she is. Why?” I say, relieved that he’s not here to lecture me, but confused as to what he’s getting at.
“Well, she was late this morning, but I’m not so worried about that. It was only a few minutes and that can happen to anyone. I wouldn’t have been concerned if that was the only issue, but she forgot she had a meeting with a multi-millionaire client too. I’m just wondering if she maybe needs some support?” Jack says.
It takes everything I have not to grin. I know why Summer was distracted this morning and it’s definitely not something she needs support with. I believe the phrase I’m looking for would be guilty as charged, your honor. Still though, I have to give Jack an answer that doesn’t involve my cock distracting Summer from her job.
“She hasn’t given me the impression she’s struggling, and she hasn’t forgotten anything important on our project. Maybe she was just flustered with already being late. Or maybe she was sick or something and just didn’t want to say,” I add, knowing that both of those explanations are a bit lame but not able to come up with anything better on the spot.
“I’m probably reading too much into it,” Jack says after a moment. “It’s a one-time thing and as long as it stays that way I’m not going to make a fuss about it. I’ve told her she can come and talk to me if she needs to and that’s really all I can do without pressuring her.”
“I’ll keep an eye out too,” I say. “But I really don’t think I’ll find anything for us to be concerned about.”
I’m about ready to go and collect Summer and go for lunch, but I wait for a moment to let Jack get back to his office. I don’t want it to look like I’ve gone running to talk to her the second after he left my office, not after what that conversation entailed. Having said that, in some ways, what Jack has just told me could work in our favor. If we are spotted and Jack asks me about it, I can just say I was thinking about what he had said, and I took her out to lunch to make sure she was definitely ok.
When I figure enough time has passed by that I would have had time to contemplate our conversation further and then decide to take Summer to lunch, I stand up. I grab my wallet and put it in my pants’ pocket. I don’t bother with my jacket. It’s a warm day and I’ll only be too hot. I go to Summer’s office. Her door is closed. I almost just push it open but then it occurs to me that she might be with a client, so I tap lightly on it.